Historically Perfect

Historically Perfect

The Bible Must Be…

Historically Perfect

 

On the surface the subject of the Bible as history does not appear conceptually difficult to understand. However, in taking a closer look at the matter, I think you will find a deeper admiration and awesome wonder for the God who created us, who has a purpose in history, and, as Lord of History, who knows where it all came from, and where it is all going.

 

Historical Detail

We would expect the Bible to describe historical details and events accurately, and not simply be a book of fables or allegories, which never took place. This is not because stories and fables are not useful and good for illustration, but simply because the Bible does not present the events it describes as such. The events recorded in the Bible, for the most part, are presented as history, and for good reason. When the Yeshua spoke in parables, He presented them as parables; when Nathan used an anecdote to help David understand the magnitude of his sin with Bethsheba, he presented it as thus; when Ezekiel describes the vision he is given, he speaks of it as a vision. However, when the Bible describes the events of Israel, Assyria, Babylon, & Rome, or the events in the Gospels the author does not present them as parables or anecdotes, or proverbial fables. They are presented as history. For this reason, if we are testing to see if the Bible is the Word of God, we are required to take them as such, and put them through the test to see if they are true. If the Bible claims an event to be an historical account, then we must require that the description be historically accurate; in truth, historical perfect.

 

The God of Israel is an Historical God

There is a reason why the Bible is, and must be, a book of history. If God is at work in men's lives, then He is at work in history. Otherwise, He would just be a theological construct, useful only for philosophers and academicians. Yet, one of the fundamental messages given in the Bible is that God has a purpose and an intention for history, and in history. The Bible reveals that, for God, the whole of creation is in process to a goal of unequaled proportions. It seems that His heart is set on a matter for which He is not willing to be thwarted. Whether it is understandable to us or not, it is revealed in this great book that God is in love with Israel, and that He is intent upon consummating that love in marriage. Thus, the Bible is not intended to only be a book of principles and moral lessons for life instruction. In it the author, mad as He may appear to be, is presenting to man the fundamental answers of the questions, "Why?": Why are we here? Why must we suffer? Why is love so painful? Throughout the Bible God is revealing His purpose in time and in history.

 

If God truly does have a purpose and a plan in history, then surely that same God is able to reveal that plan through history. This makes history itself, like the creation, a fundamental plumb line by which one can measure the authenticity of the Bible. Thus, in going back in time in the Biblical account, there is no point where one with integrity can step out of the historical record and say that the rest is just for illustration. Perhaps some things, such as the sun standing still for Joshua, or Noah's flood, or the creation of man in Adam and Eve, are difficult for us to swallow. They appear to transcend what we understand about this Creation and the study of it (science). One may be inclined to say that the account is allegorical.

However, if the Bible presents an event as historical, and we are testing the Bible for authenticity as God's Word, then we must require it to have integrity. Either it is honest and perfectly accurate, or it is not. If we are testing it as God's Word, there is no room for error. From its beginning to the final page it must prove in the end to be historically perfect.

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